Greensboro's Downtown Greenway is a 4-mile paved urban trail encircling downtown and connecting more than a dozen different neighborhoods. The Greenway will be used by walkers, joggers, bikers, skaters and others for outdoor recreation and improved fitness.
In addition, it provides a safe, convenient alternative way to get around the center city, helping reduce traffic congestion, parking problems and air pollution. Because of its proximity to Greensboro College, NC A&T State University, Bennett College and UNCG, the Greenway will be within walking distance of many of Greensboro's 27,000 college students.
The Greensboro Bicentennial Commission, appointed by City Council to plan the celebration of the city's 200th year in 2008, adopted the Downtown Greenway as the signature project for Bicentennial commemoration, and as such it is being planned as an amenity that will make Greensboro stand out among North Carolina cities. Public art pieces both large and small, made by North Carolina and national artists, will make site furnishings such as benches and bicycle racks unique and appealing. The Greenway will also use public art to celebrate the history of the adjacent neighborhoods. Perhaps the most exciting public art pieces are planned for each of the four corners of the Greenway loop: large "cornerstone" sculptures recognizing themes and institutions that define Greensboro's history and future.
The Downtown Greenway forms the hub that will help connect the 80-plus miles of city greenways and trails that already exist. It will also connect to a broader network of trails and parks, including statewide efforts such as the Mountains to the Sea Trail. If the experience of other cities holds true, the Greenway will also encourage economic development in an area the City has targeted for revitalization.
The groundbreaking for the initial phase of the Downtown Greenway took place on March 9, 2009, and construction began on the second section in April of 2011. Action Greensboro continues to work with the City of Greensboro to develop plans and secure funding for implementation of the greenway. Construction of the Downtown Greenway is expected to take ten years and cost $26 million.
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